**Editor’s Note: Due to a conflict of interest, one of the Editorial Page Editors did not participate in The Editorial Board’s interviews with the candidates, the subsequent deliberation and voting on candidates, or the writing and editing of the original endorsement Monday night. The editor also had no involvement with this retraction and its corresponding votes. Editorials represent the views of The Editorial Board, hosted within The Michigan Daily’s Opinion section.
The Michigan Daily Editorial Board is retracting its Monday night endorsement of ORGANIZE for the 2021 Central Student Government election.
It came to light Tuesday afternoon that Sam Burnstein, former vice presidential candidate for ORGANIZE, had liked a number of concerning and problematic tweets from 2017 on his personal Twitter account. We initially endorsed ORGANIZE because their campaign’s platform — and their answers to The Editorial Board’s questions in an interview on Monday — suggested they were proposing worthy and needed changes to CSG.
Burnstein’s liked tweets were not brought to the attention of The Editorial Board in its Monday discussion and were therefore not factored into the decision to endorse ORGANIZE. The Editorial Board nonetheless strongly condemns the bigotry and insensitivity displayed in those tweets. Moreover, these liked tweets, coupled with Burnstein’s failure both to disclose their existence and disavow their problematic content prior to or during our interview, undermines his credibility as a candidate.
ORGANIZE presidential candidate Sujin Kim stated in a Tuesday evening email to the Editorial Page Editors that Burnstein has withdrawn from the CSG election. Kim said she will be running alone as the presidential candidate and will be appointing ORGANIZE campaign manager and LSA junior Ann Mintun to be vice president if Kim wins. Because The Editorial Board has not had sufficient time to review this change and how it affects the party, we maintain the retraction of our endorsement.
As of Tuesday evening, Burnstein posted a statement about the tweets he previously liked. He apologized for liking the tweets and said he has changed his political views since coming to the University of Michigan. We acknowledge people can change their opinions over time, but failing to be forthcoming about such serious issues, especially as a campus representative, warrants the decision to revoke our endorsement of Burnstein and ORGANIZE, particularly given the prejudiced and harmful views expressed in those liked tweets. Restorative justice is a complex and long-term process; it cannot be achieved through a singular statement.
This retraction does not come lightly, nor does it indicate any endorsement of the other campaigns, CHANGE and IMPACT. We found issues severe enough with these other two campaigns’ platforms and during their interviews with The Editorial Board on Monday night that we are unable to endorse either of them. As such, The Editorial Board does not endorse any campaign for CSG president and vice president for the 2021 election.